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Civil Code to Advance Human Rights Protection
Chinese lawmakers and legal experts said in Beijing Wednesday that the draft civil code which sets out protection for the rights to human dignity and private property, will help push forward China's human rights protection.

The draft was tabled with the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation in Beijing on Monday.

"The civil code is the basic law regulating the market economy and people's social activities, and it is also a declaration for civil rights," Wang Jiafu, member of the NPC Standing Committee, said at a panel discussion on the draft.

The most significant feature of this draft is its emphasis on civil rights protection, he said.

The draft has a chapter on protecting the right to human dignity, which clarifies for the first time in China's law that individuals enjoy the right to privacy, plus rights to a healthy life, protection of name, image, reputation, honor and credit.

"By incorporating a separate chapter on human rights protection in the law draft, China shows its determination and confidence in pushing forward the cause of human rights protection," Wang said.

China's renowned civil law expert Wang Liming expressed a similar opinion. He said the draft confirmed full protection for the right to human dignity and would give people a powerful legal weapon to fight any kind of illegal interference and violation of their personal rights.

For the first time the draft makes it clear that private property, public property and state-owned property enjoy equal protection.

Wang Jiafu said the right to own property was the prerequisite of production and material exchange, and also guaranteed a normal life for people.

"The property right is an important part of human rights, and therefore protection for it will also serve to advance China's human rights cause," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2002)

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